Definition of data mining
: the practice of searching through large amounts of computerized data to find useful patterns or trends
Windows 10® here on referred to as Win10 is a registered Trade Mark of Microsoft Corporation™.
Basic Bullshit About Privacy And Information
I understand all the concerns about privacy and they’re valid for sure. But here is why Win10 is pretty high on the list of problems when its comes to privacy. Take a look at the NSA hacking treachery for example, or all the hacking being done to places like Kohl’s, Lowes, the IRS and many more. Recently personal information was stolen in a hack of a affiliate of Blue Cross / Blue Shield, also Home Depot accounts where compromised by hackers. Don’t get me wrong, shit loads of security breeches took place long before Win10. If anybody thinks that by using Win10 and using the privacy and security settings your privacy is safe, think again, Microsoft is the biggest culprit in data mining, besides others out there, like Russia, North Korea, China maybe even here in the USA. These days it seems the only way to truly protect your privacy/information is to live in a cave with no pc or other devices.
The Evil Empires Facts (Win10)
So lets get busy and see what Win10 is sucking out of your PC on a hourly (yes hourly) basis. Win10 Sends Your Data Over 6000 Times Every Day Even After Turning On/Off All Privacy Settings. Some think that disabling all of the privacy compromising and telemetry features on Win10 will stop Microsoft from tracking your activities.
But alas the fact is even with all telemetry features disabled, Win10 is phoning home more than you can imagine. Ever since the launch of Microsoft’s Win10, its suspected of spying on its users. So as promised I am focusing on Win10 privacy issues, including its controversial data mining features and privacy invasion features. Some thought the only solution to sorta patch these issues is to disable all the telemetry features or use an automated tool to do so.
Well what a bummer, all these efforts are wasted because Microsoft still tracks you, even after you tighten your Win10 privacy to the extreme (using their settings), many claims and analysis are splattered on the hell yeah they do and oh no lookie they don’t.
Traffic Analysis Reveals Extent of Win10 Spying
Curious to know the extent of Win10 spying, I set Linux on my laptop with a Windows 10 Pro® virtual machine as well as a Cisco router and other monitoring gadgets (Lol No not telling.) to monitor traffic. I disabled every single tracking and telemetry feature available. I left everything running for about 6 hrs to monitor attempted connections.
Get a load of this shit:
Six hours later, I found the idle Win10 tried over 6000+ worth of connections to 90+ IP’s, of which 4000+ of these attempts were made to 50+ IP’s belonging to Microsoft over and over. Then leaving it run for 36 hours, Win10 expanded the connections list to 129 non-private IP’s. (which hackers can intercept this data) Adding in 3rd party software, same setup just added in DisableWinTracking tool. This did reduce it some to 2758 connections to 30 different IP’s. The interesting fact here is: This analysis was conducted on Windows 10 Pro® that has a higher level of user control, way more than Windows 10 Home Edition® used by the vast majority.
The Greatest Cost to Owning Win10
Based on this, to say that Win10 is sending your personal data to Microsoft’s servers would be sort of inaccurate. But, thousands of connection attempts in 6 hours just to check for updates or adjust the time ( according to Microsoft ), sounds more like Bullshit.
Microsoft says this about Win10 Spying concerns:
We collect a limited amount of information to help us provide a secure and reliable experience. This includes data like an anonymous device ID, device type, and application crash data which Microsoft and our developer partners use to continuously improve application reliability. This doesn’t include any of your content or files, and we take several steps to avoid collecting any information that directly identifies you, such as your name, email address or account ID.
While this research doesn’t provide the details of what Win10 is sending to the company even after disabling the telemetry features, you have to keep this in mind that Nothing comes for FREE. “Free” is just a relative term. So in reality maybe you are paying the greatest cost for owning Win10.
Here is a small live sample of data mining:
Now Here Is the real deal of what happens!
All text typed on the keyboard is stored in temporary files, and sent (once per 30 mins approx.) to:
Telemetry is sent once per 5 minutes(Approx.), to:
Searching for a movie, or song title starts a telemetry process that lists all your media files and sends it to:
When the webcam is first turned on, ~38mb of data gets transmitted immediately to:
Everything said into a microphone is transmitted immediately to:
Am I Scaring You? Well Fuck Yeah, You Should Be Scared!
If all of this wasn’t bad enough, this behavior still occurs even if Cortana is fully disabled or uninstalled. The screwed up purpose of this function is to build up a massive voice database, then tie those voices to identities, and eventually be able to identify anyone simply by picking up their voice, whether it be a microphone in public or a wiretap on skype etc.(I know like holy shit batman!)
Even more screwed up, if Cortana is enabled, the voice is first transcribed to text, yes i said text, then sent to:
Now some of you are thinking… Well show me how to block all of these servers with the HOSTS file like you taught us in the parental controls post Mongo, it turns out this won’t work (well fuck me , right) Guess what? Microsoft has taken the care to hardcode certain IPs, meaning that there is no DNS lookup and no HOSTS consultation. But, if the above servers are blocked via HOSTS, Windows will pretend to be crippled by continuously throwing errors, while still maintaining the data collection in the background.(hard ass data mining huh) Other than an increase in errors, HOSTS blocking did not effect the volume, frequency, or rate of data being stored.
Ok What Needs To Be done?
But seriously that is up to you, but I will show you how to best secure your PC up from Microsoft among others in a later post.
Ok Be Calm, Now go sit, scratch your head and have a drink!